Now that the Egyptians really are fond of wine this is a proof, that they are the only people among whom it is a custom at their feasts to eat boiled cabbages before all the rest of their food; and even to this very time they do so. And many people add cabbage seed to potions which they prepare as preventives against drunkenness. And wherever a vineyard has cabbages growing in it, there the wine is weaker. On which account the citizens of Sybaris also, as Timmeus says, used to eat cabbages before drinking. And so Alexis says—
Last evening you were drinking deep,And Eubulus says, somewhere or other—
So now your head aches. Go to sleep;
Take some boil'd cabbage when you wake;
And there's an end of your headache.
Wife, quick! some cabbage boil, of virtues healing,[p. 57] For the ancients used to call cabbage ῥάφανος. And so Apollodorus of Carystus expressly says—
That I may rid me of this seedy feeling.
If you butter and cabbage eat,And Nicochares says—
All distempers you will beat,
Driving off all headaches horrid,
And clouds which hover round your forehead.
Instead of cabbage, acorns boil to-morrow,And Amphis tells us—
Which equally rid you of all your sorrow.
When one's been drunk, the best relief I knowAnd Theophrastus also speaks of the effect which the cabbage produces, saying that the vine as long as it lives always turns away from the smell of cabbage.
Is stern misfortune's unexpected blow;
For that at once all languor will dispel,
As sure as cabbage.